As we all know, the main purpose of building a space station for humans is to use the special environment of space (such as radiation, vacuum, microgravity) for scientific experiments that cannot be performed on the ground. The participating countries of the International Space Station have used it to conduct various scientific experiments since it was completed. Now let’s watch two sets of space mouse experiments together!
Skin problems with “space mouse”
Astronauts are more prone to skin discomfort in space than on the ground, and once a minor injury, such as a scratch or abrasion, occurs in space, wound healing can take longer than on earth.
Why do these phenomena occur? Is the microgravity environment changing the structure of human skin? To investigate this problem, scientists took a fancy to mice and observed subtle changes in mouse skin in space.
As a result, the six mice were confined in a special “mouse drawer system”, which was sent to the International Space Station by the “Discovery” space shuttle. After three months in space, return to Earth by shuttle. The ISS will automatically feed and feed the mice, and the astronauts will look after them. In the end, three mice survived this space journey back to Earth (the other three died due to accidents or health issues).
The scientists collected the tissues and organs of these mice and performed 20 different studies, comparing them to mice living in the “mouse drawer system” on the ground. Studies have found that the outer skin of these “space mice” is thinner than that of ground mice, and the hair follicles of “space mice” have also changed.
The study also found that the hair on the ground mouse’s skin went from growing to stopping growing to falling off. But this cycle of growth in the “space rat” was disrupted. The hair on the “space mouse” did not grow according to this law, but grew against this law-when it should be stopped, these hairs did not stop growing, but grew more active. In addition, a layer of muscle directly in contact with the skin under the “space mouse” has also undergone some changes. The main findings of the study were that the skin of mice that remained on the International Space Station for three months became thinner than those of ground mice.
Although this is only a small study, experiments have strongly proved the health of the skin; there is a high correlation between the space activities of humans and humans, and prolonged exposure to microgravity can cause skin growth and metabolic disorders. This is important as we plan longer space travels (such as flying to Mars).
Liver problems in “space mice”
According to the British Daily Mail, a study showed that a group of experimental mice sent to space for two weeks showed early signs of liver damage after returning to Earth. Professor Karen, the head of the study, compared “space mice” with mice raised on the ground, and eventually found that space flight will lead to more and more liver fat storage in mice, and that non-alcoholic fatty livers appear in “space mice” And potentially show signs of early liver fibrosis, and this is the first stage of liver scarring.
Professor Karen also pointed out that on the planet, liver fibrosis in mice is a chronic disease that takes months or even years to develop. Even if mice eat unhealthy food, it can take a long time for the condition to develop. What would happen to humans if, after a normal diet, mice had spent 13.5 days in space showing early signs of liver fibrosis?
The damage caused by space flight to animal liver is a controversial issue. Humans need to observe experimental mice in long-term space flight to determine whether this is a compensation mechanism for avoiding severe damage. In addition, Professor Karen said that the pressure of spaceflight and return to Earth may also have important effects on liver damage in mice. Only by investigating and analysing the endurance of rats in space in the future, can humans reveal the true cause of their physical damage.